Tag Archives: sopa de lima

Casual Restaurant Critic visits Las Yuyas

Every once in a while, my work, such as it is, requires me to visit restaurants that could be potentially incorporated into a tour offering. Such was the case today, with Las Yuyas, located in the Merida’s Jesus Carranza colonia.

Open since March of this year, they are cooking up traditional Yucatecan food with some original twists and presenting it in an attractive manner. My dear readers will agree that one of the most delicious and absolutely worst Yucatecan platillos to photograph is sikil pak, but the way chef Edwin prepares it here is a work of art. Very tasty too! Look:

Sikil Pak at Las Yuyas

All the dishes tried were excellent, from the queso relleno (my go-to dish when comparing Yucatecan restaurants) to lomitos de Valladolid to pipian de puerco. Also sampled were chayitas, taco de cochinita, relleno negro and escabeche, along with crema de brocoli and sopa de lima. Each was very well presented and perfectly seasoned. Tortillas were handmade and hot, and the tostadas for the sikil pak were fried just before being brought out to the table which made them extra hot and crispy. Nice touch.

Dessert was caballeros pobres, better than the usual goop served at so many restaurants, and papadzul ice cream. This is made by a local ice cream artist and this restaurant is the only place in town where you can have this flavor. Reason enough to come and sample the wares.

The room is comfortable, chairs are a bit on the hard side, walls are all glass and the A/C is cold. Service was very friendly with a bit of a delay on the removal of dirty dishes but overall very attentive. Owner Mario stopped by for a chat and explained a little about what he is trying to do.

Recommended; a restaurant that deserves a visit. Enjoy the (iPhone) photos!

Little masa ball appetizers

Crema de brocoli

Sopa de lima

Nido de Yuyas – a large sampler plate of several items

Pipian

Lomitos de Valladolid

Queso relleno

Caballero pobre (dessert)

Caballero pobre II

Papadzul ice cream. Yes, papadzul – amazing!

The Casual Restaurant Critic visits the Hacienda Temozon

While checking out several haciendas recently, the Casual Restaurant Critic had the opportunity to visit – and have a meal, albeit a small one – in the restaurant at the Hacienda Temozon, an upscale hotel part of the Starwood Collection of very high-end hacienda accommodations in the Yucatan.

In the past, the experience in the restaurant has been a far cry from the rest of the delights offered to the senses when one visits this property; the gardens, the pool, spa and rooms are gorgeous, while the restaurant lacked the level of quality commensurate with the high standards set in the previously mentioned areas.

On this occasion, the Critic and two guests had a light lunch consisting of jamaica, the refreshing red tea made from jamaica flowers, a lime soup, a trio of panuchos and the Critic’s choice: a Kinich salad (photo pending). The food was tasty and fresh, particularly the salad, which was a real mix of typical Yucatecan ingredients including ground pumpkin seed and chunks of smoky longaniza sausage. On the service end, there is still room for improvement. Although the welcome was cordial and the attention to guests and Critic alike courteous and prompt, the Critic feels that in a restaurant of this caliber ladies should be served first and the typical arrival of the food on a tray parked next to the table, followed by the waiter picking up a plate and announcing it with a question should be outlawed. The reason they ask is because they don’t know who ordered what and this could so easily be solved, as it has been in countless restaurants around the world, buy a simple system of numbers corresponding to guests and their menu choices. This would eliminate the need for the question “Sopa de Lima??” and enable waiters to serve ladies first, not last, as was the case during this lunch.

The flies were also a problem, getting into the drinks for a swim, settling busily on the bread and in general causing much fanning of hands and napkins more akin to an experience at a much less luxurious dining establishment.

Prices were on the high end for the food offered (Yucatecan dishes at $150 pesos plus) considering what one can obtain for such a price tag at places closer to town and the service and fly details mentioned above. The view of course and the semi-outdoor experience of dining in such a beautiful space was fantastic however and for a special occasion, this might be a pleasant destination to head to for a special occasion.

La Taberna de los Frailes – A Second Visit

On a trip to Cancun and back yesterday, the Critic and his Better Half had enough time to stop for a ‘nice’ restaurant lunch as opposed to the usual (but always delicious and eminently satisfying) Doña Tere at the toll highway isla near Valladolid.

This time, the Critic veered off the highway and landed – after some meandering among the twisting yet bewitching back streets of Valladolid – at the Taberna de los Frailes restaurant, reviewed previously by the Critic. Yesterdays visit was as good, if not better, than the first one.

The menu is a real mix of things innovative and things Yucatecan and things both innovative and Yucatecan. Think Thing One and Thing Two. No, on second thought, don’t.

For example, the Critic ordered a Valladolid Temptation appetizer. What the hell is that you ask? It is two slices of grilled watermelon with a thick, gooey semi-melted (molten?) slab of panela cheese in between. Served with a little fruit sauce dip and grilled tomatos and a sprig of lettuce
bathed in balsamic vinegar, it was completely out of the ordinary and quite delicious not to mention unexpected. Is this Valladolid? A glimpse at the crumbling stone wall of the monastery across the tiny street confirms that yes, it is.

Then there were the nachos. Thankfully ordering only this one other appetizer the Critic, who is not shy about finishing his plate, could not finish these nachos. Arriving on a very hot plate the size of a small indoor swimming pool, the nachos featured tostadas that were thin and crispy, not the thick and crunchy ones usually found here. The cheese was apparently cheddar but the Critic can’t be sure but what was innovative about these nachos is that they were made with Longaniza de Valladolid, the citys famous smoked sausage, and served with a small dish of chopped pickled onions along with the usual jalapeno peppers. Again, please be aware that the size of this platter is on the huge size and the contents will feed a small village the size of Xcunya without much
difficulty.

Better Half ordered a lime soup and Dzotobichay aka Brazo de Reina which is a Yucatecan treat that must be tried at least once during any visit to this part of the world. The tomato salsa on top was fresh and very tasty. Again, the portion was quite large.

Service, from the same waiter as on the last visit, was courteous and friendly. Prices were reasonable, in the Critics humble opinion.